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Resolved Can't install MacOS Leopard on PowerBook G4 1.5GHz (SMS/BT2 - Al)

Baldung99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2019
42
14
So yeah, virtual big cats are causing me real problems.

What with it currently running MacOS 10.4.11 (Tiger). I was running Debian 10 because for a while it was my only laptop, but that stopped being the case recently. So I went to find a way to install Tiger on it, which came in four ISOs meant for CDs, which worked perfectly fine.

I found a "single-dvd install" .iso for Leopard somewhere, which I burnt onto a rewritable DVD which... did precisely nothing. Hell, in a way it did less than nothing. It would show up when I would insert it while the powerbook was booted up, it would show the "Install MacOS X" icon, then it would restart, appear to be attempting to read the disk and proceed to boot directly into Tiger. I remember this was a .cdr file, which according to Google is just a rebranded .iso file. ImgBurn apparently (this being the operating word) didn't have a problem handling the file.

Then I went and downloaded a full 7(ish)GB Leopard .iso and burnt it into a DVD-DL. I figured since it came in .iso format then it would work fine when burning the disk on Windows. Well, no luck with that. Same exact thing as with the "single-dvd" .iso file. I'm not going to do anything more with dual-layer DVDs until I'm sure the disk won't be wasted.

What exactly am I doing wrong? Is ImgBurn the wrong program to use? Do I need a mac to burn the Leopard disk or something? If I do indeed need a mac, I hope using an external DVD burner will work. I'd rather avoid prowling eBay for a retail disk, because last time I checked (for a Tiger retail disk since I lost my system DVD) these things are absurdly expensive... and I doubt any seller would willingly image a disk and send it to me.
 

benwild_33

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2016
165
102
I've never had a whole lot of luch burning from windows but it sounds like the disk might be burning correctly as the mac sees it as bootable. There is a good chance your optical drive might be bad, they are on a lot of powerbooks simply due to age. To test this I always test booting in target disk mode from another mac. The sensors on optical drives can be cleaned, I've done a desktop drive on a Mac G5 but never a slot loading drive on a Powerbook.
 
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weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,177
2,541
Cheapest solution is to create a partition on your PBook and restore the Leopard installer to it. Boot from the installer volume; it should come up on the boot selecter screen if you hold down the alt/Option key at the boot chime.
 
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Baldung99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2019
42
14
There is a good chance your optical drive might be bad

But I've managed to install Tiger from rewritable DVDs (yes, the .iso set was meant for CDs...) while my system disk was missing... and then did it all over again with said system disks, which are DVDs, one of which is Dual-Layer, judging by the size of what the Disk Utility spat out after installing. And even before that, I tried installing various Linux distros, all of which were burnt on rewritable DVDs.

The sensors on optical drives can be cleaned

I used to have a completely non-functional SuperDrive and... well in my quest to clean it, there's no way getting into it without destroying it

Cheapest solution is to create a partition on your PBook and restore the Leopard installer to it.

And how am I going to accomplish that? I know very little about how macOS works. Hell, I got the PowerBook specifically to install Linux on it and I've only spent about a week with my MacBook Pro.
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2017
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3,232
The Matrix
@Baldung99, if you specifically intend to run Linux on your PowerBook, I would suggest instead looking for a nice Pentium III or M notebook instead, or one of those ARM-based ones (the Pinebook Pro has caught my eye).

The Linux experience on those will be vastly superior to what you'll currently get on your PowerBook. Far more capable too.
 
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Baldung99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2019
42
14
@z970mp That's why I got back to Tiger... That I got a new laptop kind of helped here, but then I also discovered The Tiger Thread - and a few other sites - which was the final nail in the coffin of Linux on my PowerBook.

Now the PowerBook has been relegated to the status of "surprisingly heavy toy" and with a Mobility Radeon 9700 seems like a somewhat decent early-2000s gaming machine, if only with a somewhat limited games library (but hey, I can run UT99 and UT2004 on it so no big deal).
 
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Baldung99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2019
42
14
OK I created a partition on my PowerBook and restored the Leopard installer on it as per @weckart ... and now I have an ugly 10GB partition on my 80GB HDD that I can't merge back to the bigger partition with Disk Utility. How do I go about merging these two partitions together? It's not that bad, but it's annoying.

What is, however, bothering me: is Leopard supposed to be sluggish on a 1.5GHz PowerBook (with a Mobility Radeon 9700 and 64MB of VRAM and maxed-out RAM)? I'm now contemplating whether or not I should switch back to Tiger... or if it's because I'm running the original hard drive and it's nearing the end of its life. I'm still looking for a 15", 1.67"GHz model but I can't seem to find one locally. Although, would Leopard be that much smoother on the higher-end model?
 
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weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,177
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OK I created a partition on my PowerBook and restored the Leopard installer on it as per @weckart ... and now I have an ugly 10GB partition on my 80GB HDD that I can't merge back to the bigger partition with Disk Utility. How do I go about merging these two partitions together? It's not that bad, but it's annoying.

In theory, because no OS9 drivers are on your disk, you should be able to wipe the Leopard Install volume, shrink it down with Disk Utility and extend your man Leopard volume to fill the space. If Disk Utility won't let you remove the unwanted install partition without blitzing the other volumes, then iPartition is your friend.


You will need v3.31 and a blank CD to write to. Keep a hold of this disc once you have made it. It will come in very useful in the future if you ever get another PPC Mac.
 
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Baldung99

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2019
42
14
If Disk Utility won't let you remove the unwanted install partition without blitzing the other volumes, then iPartition is your friend.

You're right, Disk Utility did let me delete the 10GB partition and resize my main partition. I just assumed that since Tiger wouldn't let me do it, the same thing would be true for Leopard.

Keep a hold of this disc once you have made it. It will come in very useful in the future if you ever get another PPC Mac.

What do you know, a pair of PowerPC - a dual CPU G4 tower and a dual core G5 - Macs fell into my lap and they both run Tiger and have annoying partitions. So, thanks for bringing that piece of software to my attention.

Now that that's over and done with, do I close the thread or something?
 
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weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
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Now that that's over and done with, do I close the thread or something?

Just leave it. It may be useful for people in the future if they do a search. You can edit the title to show "Resolved", although that doesn't always prevent posters several years down the line dredging up old threads and posting replies or questions to posters who have long since left Macrumors.

Only mods close threads, usually after some unsavoury posts.
 
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